PARIS (Reuters) - French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen said on Wednesday that her election as president next year would form a trio of world leaders with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin that “would be good for world peace.”
Inaugurating her campaign headquarters for France’s 2017 election, just less than two km (one mile) away from the Elysee presidential palace, Le Pen said the premises were “a stopover on the way to (her) final destination down the road.”
Anti-Europe and anti-immigration, the 48-year-old Le Pen was the only French political leader who backed Trump in the U.S. election.
Her National Front party has been buoyed by his victory and that of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, hoping to ride a similar anti-establishment wave in France to victory in next year’s poll.
“There is a worldwide movement. A worldwide movement which rejects unchecked globalisation, destructive ultra-liberalism ... the elimination of nation states, the disappearance of borders,” Le Pen told reporters.
“The forces at work in these various elections are ideas, forces which could bring about my election as the president of France next May.”
Opinion polls see Le Pen making it to the second round of the April and May presidential election but losing that run-off to a mainstream candidate from the center-right.
But pollsters’ failure to predict Trump’s win or Britain’s vote in June to leave the EU have cast doubt on how reliable election predictions are.
Asked if she would be next to prove pollsters wrong and form a trio of leaders with Russia’s Putin, who has drawn fire from European leaders for backing the Syrian government against Western-backed rebels in Aleppo, and Trump, who like her has tapped anti-immigrant sentiment to gain popularity, Le Pen told reporters: “That would be good for world peace.”
“If I am president, France would have good relations with Russia,” she said.
Le Pen says she would re-instate border-checks with France’s neighbors and hold a referendum to take the country out of the Eu.
Her campaign poster, unveiled on Wednesday, shows a symbol of a blue rose with the words “Marine President.” The campaign’s slogan is: “In the name of the people.”
In a move to soften the image of the party, once ruled by her maverick father Jean-Marie Le Pen, and try to broaden its appeal beyond grassroots supporters, the party’s name did not figure on the poster nor did the trademark flame logo or even her family name.
Reporting by Ingrid Melander, Simon Carraud, Michaela Cabrera and Gerard Bon; editing by John Irish and Richard Balmforth
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